CAPE TOWN- Growing evidence suggests that conjunctivitis, or pink eye, is a rare and early symptom of Covid-19, with experts estimating it could be present in 1-3 percent of cases. While the two symptoms are not a common pairing, it could indicate early stages of the infection.
In the early days of the pandemic, a group from Wuhan, China reported seeing a small number of Covid-19 patients who also had pink eye, however, the condition was rare.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), pink eye is considered one of the less common symptoms of Covid-19. While the virus affects different people in different ways, the most common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, and tiredness.
Conjunctivitis occurs when either a bacterial or viral infection causes redness and inflammation. The virus infects a tissue called the conjunctiva, which covers the white part of your eye or the inside of your eyelids. Symptoms include red, swollen, or itchy eyes.
Having a pink eye, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have Covid-19. The more likely causes are the many different viruses, bacteria, chemicals, and allergens that can irritate your eyes.
The eye infection is highly contagious and can be spread via skin-to-skin contact, or by touching a contaminated surface, such as a doorknob.
During Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate, Mike Pence’s left eye appeared red and swollen which led internet users to guess that he has pinkeye, a known symptom for Covid-19.
United States President Donald Trump revealed in a tweet last week that he and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for Covid-19.
Based on data so far, doctors believe that 1%-3% of people with COVID-19 will get conjunctivitis, also called pinkeye. It happens when the virus infects a tissue called conjunctiva, which covers the white part of your eye or inside of your eyelids. More: https://t.co/NW5mI3byCD pic.twitter.com/Y16xSCIhI1
— WebMD (@WebMD) October 8, 2020
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